THE next Bishop of Jarrow, in Durham diocese, is to be the Archdeacon of Nottingham, the Ven. Sarah Clark. Her nomination was announced by Downing Street on Thursday morning.
Archdeacon Clark, who is 53, succeeds the Rt Revd Mark Bryant, who retired in October, on his 69th birthday (News, 11 May). She has been Archdeacon of Nottingham since 2014.
Speaking on Thursday, Archdeacon Clark said that she was looking forward to using her experiences in “helping the Diocese of Durham in its vision to ‘Bless our communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all. That resonates so strongly with me, and I will work and be witness to that vision in all I am and all I do as Bishop of Jarrow.”
Archdeacon Clark is from South Wales, and she said that the former mining communities there gave her a great affinity with Durham diocese.
“I grew up in South Wales in the ’70s and early ’80s, and I was the first generation to go to university, which is why I left. My grandfathers were miners and so was my father in his 20’s until he went to work for ICI. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, in the same community that my father went onto represent as a local Councillor.
“I was taught the importance of giving to your community and looking out for those who were struggling long before I came to faith in Jesus Christ. When I was growing up, open cast mining had been finished for some years but as usual, the slag heaps or the waste as we called it remained. It’s all grown over now with its own beauty and I was strongly reminded of home (except for the sea!) when I recently visited Easington pit top.”
Before her ordination, in 1998, Archdeacon Clark was a civil servant in the Department for Employment.
The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, said: “I had the pleasure of working with Sarah whilst I was Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and I know that she will be a great advocate for the communities of our diocese, bring with her a tremendous set of skills and experiences that will help us in our ambitions.
“I know Sarah will bring rich gifts in helping people discover and discern their God-given calling, including to ordination. She will also bring a deep commitment to our 3 priorities of children and young people, tackling poverty together and growing the church in depth, engagement with communities and number.”
Archdeacon Clark’s interests include food, film, and sport.
Her consecration will take place in York Minster on 27 February.